Tuesday, June 30, 2009


One of the sad things about Michael Jackson was that his great music has been forgotten beneath all the controversy (that, to be fair, he often courted). Tomorrow on OutQ, I want to talk more about the music, including some Jackson 5 and Jacksons songs that you don't hear much anymore.

Monday, June 29, 2009


So, I haven't had time to post many other stories lately, and Michael seems to be what everyone is talking about all over the world. This is the cover of the upcoming issue of Time, and I'm sure in a few days he'll be on the cover of almost every magazine. Everyone has their own thing to say, the best obit I've read is from a guy I used to (sort of) work for, VH1 EVP Bill Flanagan, also a contributor to CBS Sunday Morning (where this is taken from) (thanks to Ben) :

"Michael Jackson presided over the third and final big band of the rock ‘n roll era.

The first explosion was Elvis. That was about sexual liberation, and racial integration, and lasted about ten years.

The second explosion was The Beatles and everything they issued in. Suddenly pop music was all about long hair and experimental sounds, progressive politics and outlaw rhetoric. Rock was about a counterculture. That blast lasted about twenty years, right through Springsteen, Prince, and U2.

The third explosion was Thriller, Michael Jackson’s 1982 album, and the best selling album of all time, the album that invented the pop world we’re still living in twenty-five years later.
Thriller re-merged pop music with mainstream entertainment. After two decades, pop became again what it had been before the Sixties: part of show business. With Thriller, pop wasn’t just about how you sounded, but how you looked, how you dressed, and danced.

Michael didn’t idolize Dylan and Hendrix, he idolized Elizabeth Taylor and Walt Disney. The model has ruled mainstream entertainment for twenty-six years and show no sign of ending. He made the world safe for MTV and Madonna, Flashdance and Footloose, Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake.

A student of PT Barnum, Jackson courted crazy publicity rumors. But at some point that hunger for tabloid headlines turned on him. He fed a beast, and the beast bit him. At some point, Michael forgot about being a musician, and got lost in being a star.

But one crucial fact often gets overlooked in all the statistics, hype, and hoopla: Michael Jackson was amazingly talented."

Well said.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Thriller. Bad. Dangerous. The Wiz. And The Jackson 5. That's what I'll remember.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Tomorrow night I will be guesting on The Busted Halo show on SIRIUS XM's Catholic Channel. I'll be talking about the spiritual side of some of Bruce Springsteen's songs. I am not a Catholic (I am Jewish) but there's some obvious imagery going on. And, anyway, his recurring themes of faith and redemption, and transcending the circumstances of your life, are things we can all get wit'.

As is the case with every list I ever do, it took me hours to come up with (and as is the case with every list I ever do, the fate of the world doesn't rest on the list, so I should probably spend less time on this kind of thing!).

Father Dave Dwyer, the show's host, asked me to bring two songs to discuss. TWO! I actually suggested four and suggested that he choose two. My final picks were "Badlands," "The Rising," "No Surrender" and "Reason To Believe."

But I could have gone with "Adam Raised A Cain," "Devils & Dust," "American Land," "The Promised Land," well, there's so many.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Every year when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announces their inductees, I complain pretty loudly about The Stooges getting stiffed. But I also have a beef with them about Bill Withers not getting in. He is truly one of the greats.

He wasn't part of a big "scene" like Motown, Philadelphia International, Stax (even though Booker T. Jones produced his debut), and his career as a hitmaker didn't last super long. Unlike many of his peers, when the music industry seemed to lose interest in him, he was content to go away. That's probably because he was a bit older when he started his musical career: he had spent nine years in the Navy by then. He makes tons of money on his royalties, and doesn't need to stick around if he doesn't feel like it. He also hates interviews. If you watch the interview included on the "dualdisc" reissue of his classic debut, Just As I Am, you'll see that. Somehow, though, the directors of the upcoming film Still Bill spent LOTS of time with him and this film is the result. There are no screenings in my area, but I can't wait to see it.

So, anyway, do yourself a favor: get a copy of Just As I Am, Still Bill and Live At Carnegie Hall. You will thank me.


So, this week on OutQ, Larry Flick has been talking about the various aspects of gay pride. He is not featuring any of his usual guest contributors, except for me, which is an honor. He wants me to talk about queercore. I had to do some research on this: I knew a little about Team Dresch and Tribe 8, but not much. I think I'd heard both bands on compilation CDs in the '90s, probably from CMJ and Kill Rock Stars. I have songs from each band. I'll also be playing Pansy Division, who I've played before on the show. I've also added The Germs, who were pre-queercore, but who I think influenced the scene. I'm pretty sure their late frontman Darby Crash was bi-, but guitarist (and future Nirvana touring guitarist and Foo Fighters member) Pat Smear is gay. Finally, although it would totally offend many punk rockers, I am including Judas Priest due to their frontman, metal god Rob Halford. While Rob kept his sexuality a secret (at least to straight people- gay folks and more enlightened straights [I don't include myself there] seemed to know the deal) for years, I still give him a lot of credit for coming out. It must be really difficult to be a heavy metal icon of all things, and then tell your millions of fans that you are gay. I have to say that at this point, I don't think it bothers many of his fans, which is nice. Anyway, should be an interesting show.

Monday, June 22, 2009


I found it at The Guardian's website. It was taken the other day in Tehran, Iran.


This is kind of more about music than food, but one of my favorite restaraunts in New York, Teany - a great vegetarian cafe owned by Moby - burned down yesterday. I interviewed Moby there when it first opened and then started going there with my wife. They also have their own brand of iced tea that they sell at Whole Foods. I hope they rebuild, it was a great little place.


Fans of The Kills may have been mad at singer Allison Mosshart for joining Jack White's new collective The Dead Weather. But if they really wanna hate, they should aim it at Kate Moss. Yeah, the scrawny chick who goes out with the guy in the Libertines, who is in some other band now.

Well, she's not going out with that guy anymore, now she's going out with the dude in The Kills, Jamie Hince. This is according to the U.K.'s The Mirror, which is like The Post. So it could be totally untrue.

But the story goes that they got into a fight and she threw his bag into a pool. In his bag was his laptop with recordings of six new Kills songs, which had yet to be backed up anywhere. I think Allison Mosshart will want a word with this crazy broad.


Paul Stanley reports that the new KISS album is almost done: all the writing was done by the current band: Paul, urinal cake model Gene Simmons, drummer Eric Singer and guitarist Tommy Thayer. It seems like Paul feels like there is something to prove with this album... the last time I felt KISS had something to prove, it was on Revenge which was a pretty good album. Then again, Paul may have felt he had something to prove on his recent solo album, which didn't move me that much. Still, I'm interested to hear how it comes out. (The photo and info come from Kissonline).


A few weeks ago, The Newark Star-Ledger and The New York Post (the latter always anxious to swift-boat Bruce Springsteen) wrote stories claiming that the reason that fans couldn't get good tickets to his recent New Jersey shows was that Bruce and his management held them for their fans, family, friends, etc. Which was not, exactly, what Springsteen and his management called foul over Ticketmaster: I think their main beef was that Tickemaster.com was rerouting fans to their scalping site even before tickets were sold out for Bruce's recent NJ shows. And that other, non-Ticketmaster affiliated sites were selling tickets before they even went on sale.

I was going to report on the Star-Ledger's report, but I figured I'd wait a few days for a response from Bruce's camp, and that response came today via manager Jon Landau. Read it at Bruce's website. Yes it sucks when you can't get great tickets for a show, and it sucks when you know that "insiders" have gotten those great tickets. But you've got to expect that when Bruce plays Jersey, there's going to be a lot of friends and family that are going to get hooked up, that's just the way it is. And even though tickets for the Giants Stadium shows didn't go on sale until after the Izod Center shows, I think every fan knew that he'd be playing the Stadium this summer (he is, in fact, playing five nights).

Sunday, June 21, 2009


U.K. paper The Guardian's blog has a story about the U.S. "disco sucks" campaign of 30 years ago. I agree with most of what the writer, Ben Myers, had to say (other than his condescending attitude towards Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath). 

I vaguely remember the "disco sucks" "rally" at a Chicago White Sox game - I believe it was reported on in the news, and it has certainly been included in lots of music documentaries.  I always find it comical that classic rock radio listeners - who apparently considered bands like Styx, Journey and REO Speedwagon to be "rock," but not The Stooges or The Velvet Underground - were lashing out against much more creative artists like Chic and Donna Summer. That's not what I thought about back then.  I just wondered, what is so bad about any kind of music that it would inspire a record burning rally?  Now I can look back at it and see the homophobia and racism of it. I guess it's good, in a way, that political correctness would prevent something like that from happening in such a public way. But on the other hand, wouldn't you want to know who the enemy is? The event was sort of sponsored by a "classic rock" radio DJ: I imagine some classic rock station people haven't changed much since then. 


Last year, I wrote about Living Colour working on their next album, The Chair In The Doorway. Well, they've announced on their blog that it is coming out in September on Megaforce Records, and that they're going to support it with a world tour. Living Colour performed with true fury back in the day, and I've seen some great shows by them since they reunited in 2001, so I hope to see some more.  I liked their reunion album Collideoscope, and I'm looking forward to this one. 


Sid and Susie is the alias for the duo of Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs. In 2006, they released Under The Covers Vol. 1, an album of covers of '60s songs by The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Velvet Underground, The Zombies, The Who and Neil Young, among others. Next month, they are releasing Under The Covers Vol. 2 which will take them into the '70s with songs by The Grateful Dead, Mott The Hoople, Carly Simon, Fleetwood Mac, Derek & The Dominoes, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, John Lennon and George Harrison, among others. 

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Sony Legacy is a great reissue label and always has been, and they have some cool stuff coming out in honor of Woodstock's 40th anniversary. I personally am tired of Woodstock nostalgia, I think that the lineup for the festival was a bit heavy with not-great artists, although there were some great ones.  But Legacy's Woodstock Experience series is pretty cool: it pairs an artist's set at Woodstock with their new album from that era. They have two very cool ones: Santana and Sly & The Family Stone, as well as Johnny Winter, Janis Joplin and The Jefferson Airplane

In other Santana news, his 1999 album Supernatural is getting a deluxe tenth anniversary edition, but I don't know what they are adding to it. 


Steven Tyler isn't the only guy from Aerosmith releasing a book: drummer Joey Kramer puts out Hit Hard later this month. Kramer has been through a lot: a harsh alcohol and drug addiction, a car incident where he was pretty badly burned, and a bout with depression that led to the band almost recording an album with a different drummer (thankfully they didn't do that). 

He's also celebrating his birthday at Aerosmith's June 21 show by inviting 20 soldiers who were wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan to the show as his special guests. That's something that anyone can applaud. 


NME is reporting that Courtney Love is going to be releasing her next album under the name Hole - despite the fact that none of the members of Hole will be on it (except for maybe Melissa auf der Maur, who may sing backing vocals, and may tour as the bass player).  I wonder if fans will react as they did to Billy Corgan using the Smashing Pumpkins name. She has been working on this album forever, I hope it turns out well. 


According to Variety, Paul McCartney is going to be scoring an animated film called High In The Clouds, about a squirrel trying to find an animal shelter. It's an adaptation of a children's book which was written by Sir Paul himself. Paul has also added a third night at CitiField in New York, and is now also playing FedEx Field in Washington D.C. 


Beck is starting a record club via his website. He and his 
various friends are going to be doing occasional one-day unrehearsed sessions where they cover a classic album in its entirety. The first one they're doing is The Velvet Underground & Nico, which is a great choice. They almost did Digital Underground's Sex Packets. He worked on this first edition with producer Nigel Godrich, his brother-in-law Gionvanni Ribsi, and Chris Holmes (I hope it is Chris Holmes of W.A.S.P.). 

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Do people known that Frank Black has a new project, Grand Duchy? It's Frank and his wife, Victoria Clark. I bought one song - "Come On Over To My House" - and it is great. I have to check out more.


Another pleasant surprise: the songs I've heard from Mos Def's The Ecstatic have been great. I felt like some of his recent stuff has been tainted by how much of a pain in the ass it has been for him to work with major labels. But I loved "Life In Marvelous Times" which came out last year, and The Ecstatic's "Casa Bey," "Auditorium" (featuring The Ruler) and "History" (with his Black Star mate Talib Kweli) are all great. Black Star recently played NYC, I'm sorry I missed it. I saw Mos last summer on the Rock The Bells tour, and it was all right, but when Kweli joined him onstage, it took things to the "next level" as they say. This summer, Kweli is on the tour with his other group, Reflection Eternal (with DJ Hi-Tek), hopefully Mos will join them.


So, I'm hoping to get a blu-ray player later in the year so I can get the Neil Young Archives box set on blu-ray at some point. It is getting incredible reviews. The Chicago Tribune gave it a rave review, and I bet that lots of other artists of Neil's stature (Bob Dylan, the suriving Beatles, Pete Townshend) are checking out their copy right now trying to figure out if they can do something like this.


I don't even know where to start on this one, but Gene Simmons is promoting the new season of Gene Simmons Family Jewels with talking urinal cakes. Not just urinal cakes. Talking urinal cakes. Well, the man knows how to market. I'm not mad at Gene.

In other Gene news, I heard that he and Paul Stanley were at the WalMart shareholders meeting. I gotta think that they watched AC/DC's success with WalMart closely - it wasn't just that WalMart exclusively had the Black Ice album, they also set up AC/DC "stores" in several locations, selling the band's entire catalog and other merchandise. I know KISS is working on a new album... and I bet Gene would love the idea of a KISS store at Walmart. I do think that AC/DC play better than cross-dressing KISS in middle America, though. But Gene is really pursuasive, it wouldn't surprise me if he got KISS the same deal AC/DC had.


... for headlines like this one: "60 Year Old Hippie Pitied By 40-Year Old Punk." Read all about it.


The Jones soda company - which always uses interesting photos on the labels on their bottles - has created a "Bad Brains Rootz Beer." Gaslight Anthem and Thursday also have their own soft drinks. I ain't mad at anyone. Maybe some young kids will discover Bad Brains from this.


I'm not a huge expert on The Ventures (I have their Walk, Don't Run best-of, which I highly recommend), but I was sorry to read of the death of guitarist Bob Bogle this week. Listen to any of their hits, and you'll realize that he was very influential. I'm glad he lived to see the band be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


In honor of all the Tony Awards won by Billy Elliot, featuring music by Elton John, I'm playing all Elton stuff tomorrow on OutQ. Even though Elton and lyricist Lee Hall didn't win Best Original Score (that went to Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey of Next To Normal) Billy did win Best Musical and a bunch of other awards. Despite his diva reputation, I think Elton is a team player when it comes to this kind of thing (I think he sort of missed out on being in a band, although the eventual breakup would have been ugly, probably), and he's just happy that the show did so well.

Anyway, I'm not going to be playing Elton's film and musical stuff, I'm just sticking (mainly) with his records - his collaborations with lyricst Bernie Taupin, and it's going to be pretty rare stuff. Not to be contrarian, but to expose people to stuff they may never have heard, or have forgotten about. I'm a huge fan of Elton's, and I think it's a shame (although partly his fault) that so many of his fans don't know much of his music outside of his (huge amount of) monster hits. I think people stopped taking his music seriously a long time ago, and in some ways, it's hard to blame them. And on the other hand, his 2001 album Songs From The West Coast is one of his very best.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


For those who don't know, Street Sweeper Social Club is a new band that features Tom Morello, aka The Nightwatchman (member of Rage Against The Machine and formerly of Audioslave) and Boots Riley of hip-hop group The Coup. Their self-titled debut came out today, and I got to go to their record release party at NYC's Grammercy Theater.

It was actually my third time seeing them: I saw them do a brief set at the Road Recovery benefit, and then again with Jane's Addiction and Nine Inch Nails two weeks ago.

It's weird seeing a band before you know their music - and in Tom and Boots' case, there's definitely expectations for this band. Especially for Morello: doing a political band with a MC instead of a singer makes comparisons with Rage irresistible.

SSSC is a lot more loose and more fun than Rage, and Boots Riley has a much better time onstage than RATM's Zach de la Rocha, who never lightens up. I daresay Zach could learn a thing or two from Boots, who has fun with being a frontman. There were a lot of great songs, although I don't know if their debut is a classic. It was a really tight show, I give it a B, I'm definitely going to pick up their album, and I'd definitely be into seeing them again.

Monday, June 15, 2009


I haven't heard all of Sonic Youth's new album The Eternal, but based on the one song I have heard - "Antenna" - I gotta check it out. I actually have to catch up a bit: I also don't have their last album, Rather Ripped, and I liked everything I heard off of it. I haven't liked much of their music since Washing Machine, although I've seen them live a few times, and they're always pretty great. On one hand, they really represent a contrarian indie snob thing that I can't always get with. And on the other hand, they've made some awesome and powerful music (along with some that I don't love). But I've always had a lot of respect for them.


Last week at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, Underground Garage DJ and Dictators frontman Handsome Dick Manitoba, Chris Stein of Blondie, Tommy Ramone and Lenny Kaye of The Patti Smith Group met for a conference on Jews in punk rock! (Read more at the New York Times). Interesting piece, but I don't buy into their excuses for allowing punk rockers the artistic licence to use nazi symbolism. Call me too politically correct, but I'm against that shit, straight up. With all due respect. I am a big fan of Handsome Dick as a frontman and as a DJ (and his bar is awesome), but I can't agree with that.


I saw this picture at Idolator and stole it. Yesterday, the Virgin Megastore in Union Square, New York, closed down. It's the last of the big record stores. Labels and retail kind of shot themselves in the foot (or the knee), but it's still sad that an era has ended.


Joe Perry has been saying that Aerosmith won't be playing Toys In The Attic in its entirety on their whole tour: some shows may feature Rocks instead. That would actually motivate me to see more than one show (if I could afford it). He also says that the band has been skipping Toys' last song, the great ballad "You See Me Crying," because Steven Tyler can't sing it anymore, but after a few shows, he may try to tackle it.

But in even better news, Brad Whitford may be returning to the tour soon, which is great. I got to inteview the guys from Aerosmith (except Tyler, I've never interviewed him unfortunately) a few years back, and while they were all cool, Brad was the nicest. I hope he's well.


It's true: Blondie and Pat Benatar are co-headlining a tour... and The Donnas are opening, to boot! I've seen lots of writers who cleverly try to pit the '70s/'80s icons against each other: Blondie (urban, punk, disco, "cool") against Pat (suburban, arena rock, not "cool"). Screw that, lighten up, grow up, enjoy both. That's a very cool double bill, but who designed this tour poster?


I love Mojo magazine - it is my favorite mag. Their website has a pretty cool blog that recently wrote a piece about why live albums rule. I am a big fan of live albums as well. What are some of your favorites? Off the top of my head: Neil Young & Crazy Horse's Live Rust, Bob Dylan's Bootleg Series, Vol. 4, The Jimi Hendrix Experience's Live At Monterey, The Who's Live At Leeds (it has the be the remastered, expanded edition), The Allman Brothers Band's At Fillmore East, Elton John's 11-17-70, David Bowie's recently released Santa Monica '72, U2's Under A Blood Red Sky EP, James Brown's Live At The Apollo, Emmylou Harris' Spyboy, Ben Harper's Live From Mars, Iron Maiden's Maiden Japan EP, KISS Alive, and I'm probably forgetting a bunch, but those are some of them.


Jack White has just launched his third band, The Dead Weather; with The White Stripes and The Raconteurs still ongoing concerns, that makes three bands. So, I was surprised when Brit magazine Music Connection reported that he is entertaining the idea of doing something solo (I found it via TwentyFour Bit). I think Jack is a great collaborator, but ends up getting all the attention, although he doesn't come off as a "ball hog." It should be interesting to hear what a solo Jack album would sound like.


Well, that's what the U.K.'s Sun is reporting, and that's like trusting The National Enquirer or The New York Post. I don't hate on Simon or American Idol, but this seems like it could only possibly result in a very lame remake.

By the way, due to the rock slant of No Expiration, some people may think that I hate disco, but it isn't true, and there's lots of great songs on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.


I forgot to write a review of Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer's "Unplugged and Unwigged" concert. It was hilarious, fun and great. They said that they are working on bringing Waiting For Guffman to Broadway, but who can know if they're serious. In related news, Spinal Tap's new album, Back From The Dead, is out tomorrow. They're playing Wembley Arena, with The Folksmen (their band from A Mighty Wind) opening. Classic. I just watched This Is Spinal Tap recently, and it is a timeless classic.


If there's someone who deserves a concert to celebrate his birthday, it's Nelson Mandela. And producer/Eurythmic Dave Stewart is putting together a big show at Madison Square Garden to celebrate the man's 91st birthday July 18. So far, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Aretha Franklin, Wyclef Jean, Queen Latifah, TLC (now a duo?), Cyndi Lauper, Angelique Kidjo, Baaba Maal, Josh Groban and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy are signed on to perform. Should be a great show - I may have to check that one out. Might I suggest the reunited Specials?

Monday, June 8, 2009


I'm going to Nashville to shoot some footage for the SIRIUS web site and SIRIUS XM's YouTube page during Country Music Association week. So I won't be going on OutQ this week. But I've never been to "Music City," and I'm definitely looking forward to it. I hope to go to Jack White's Third Man Records store. I recently got the label's first three singles - Mildred & The Mice (wasn't feeling it), Rachelle Garniez (who reminded me of Tom Waits) I liked that one, and more new music from The Dead Weather, including a cover of Them's "You Just Can't Win" sung by Jack which is pretty great.


The good news about Aerosmith's summer tour is that they are playing their classic album Toys In The Attic in its entirety. I'm always glad to hear Aerosmith pull out '70s era songs that they haven't done in a long time, so this will be pretty cool. The bad news is that guitarist Brad Whitford is going to miss a lot of dates because he is recovering from surgery. A guy named Bobby Schneck, who has apparently played with Green Day, Weezer and Slash, will be filling in.


Every hip-hop artist seems to get their own sneaker, but now AC/DC is being immortalized by Converse's Chuck Taylors. I don't mind that: I have a pair of Ramones Chucks.


This time it's Performing Songwriter, which was, as the title insinuates, for performing songwriters, but also for true music fans. Sorry to hear that it's going under.


I'm glad that Ed Van Halen seems like he's off of alcohol and drugs, but it's a bummer that he always has to beef with former Van Halen bandmates. Now it's bassist Michael Anthony, who along with former singer Sammy Hagar, is in Chickenfoot (with Joe Satriani and Red Hot Chili Pepper Chad Smith). He's saying that Michael quit the band (probably unlikely) and Michael says he knew he pissed off Eddie when he started playing gigs with Sammy Hagar, but he didn't find out that he was being replaced by Wolfgang Van Halen until he read about it online.

There's a Guitar Hero: Van Halen coming out, and it will only include Ed, Wolfgang, Alex Van Halen and David Lee Roth, but not Anthony, Hagar or Gary Cherone. Cold, but I guess Jason Newstead wasn't in Metallica's either.


Last year, Billy Joel played the final concerts at Shea Stadium, and this summer, Paul McCartney is going to play the first ones at it's successor, Citi Field. It makes sense, as The Beatles was the first rock band to play Shea. The shows are July 17 and 18.


I never was a Warren Zevon fan until I heard that Bob Dylan was covering his songs -- and that was when Zevon was terminally ill. I feel a bit guilty about that. I just always associated him with Jackson Browne and The Eagles and other west coast millionaries. I did enjoy his collaboration with R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Bill Berry as The Hindu Love Gods, but that was about it. Turns out he was an incredible songwriter, and I didn't appreciate him until it was too late. His final album, The Wind, is just so moving but also funny in parts. Anyway, Rolling Stone reports that there's some Zevon stuff going on: there's a database of live songs, the possibility of a broadway show based on his life (hard to imagine that getting funded) and Kevin Smith may do a movie based on Warren's song (featuring David Letterman on guest vocals!) "Hit Somebody."


This week, Dee Dee Ramone's ex-wife, Vera Ramone King, publishes his story, Poisoned Heart: I Married Dee Dee Ramone. I read an interview with her at the Suicide Girls' website. It sounds like a really interesting (and probably heartbreaking) book. I interviewed Dee Dee once after Joey Ramone died: he had a childish/crazy vibe, very much like Brian Wilson, but more troubled. I read about him in Henry Rollins' excellent 2003 book Broken Summers. I don't always read these books, but I think it's worth passing on the info to No Expiration readers.


Bob Ezrin is a great producer: he's worked with Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd, KISS, Alice Cooper, Jane's Addiction and Nine Inch Nails. In the introduction to this lengthy and interesting interview with him, it says he's working on Peter Gabriel's new album, which I thought was a bit surprising, but should result in a good album (if Peter ever finishes it).


Exene Cervenka of X just released a statement saying that she has MS. Really sad. Read the whole thing here. She says that it won't effect the X tour (which I wish I caught), or her solo album coming out in the fall, and that she hopes to be as productive as ever. She also points out the irony that X has always supported Sweet Relief, the organization that helps out musicians without health insurance. Contribute if you can.


Yeah, that's right, de la soul's classic 3 Feet High and Rising is 20! It sounds as fresh as ever (I might not say the same for the band's visuals). de la was the first hip-hop group I saw in concert. I wouldn't give the performance a good review, but I don't feel bad saying that: I've seen them many, many times since (including at last summer's Rock The Bells), and they are one of the best live groups in hip-hop. Back then, they were opening for the mighty Living Colour (Michael Hill's Bluesland was also on the bill) at The New Ritz in NYC. I told them about the gig when I was interviewing them a few years ago, and they were like, "Oh no!" I told them they've improved a thousand-fold since then.

Anyway, read a cool piece on the album here at HipHop.com.


Aquarium Drunkard is a great blog - I know of it because they are one of the hosts of SIRIUS XMU's usually excellent Blog Radio show. Justin Gage, who runs AD, just wrote a book about going on the real trail of the blues. From the publisher's description: "Step back in time to the Mississippi Delta with endless cotton fields and rural shacks. There is no better place to experience hopping juke joints and the stomping grounds of blues greats like Muddy Waters." You can buy the book here, and check out Aquarium Drunkard here. And read an inteview with Justin about the book here.


A while ago, I wrote about Wreckage Of My Past, the Ozzy Osbourne documentary that his son, Jack Osbourne, is working on. See the trailer here. I really think Jack wants to tell the story in an honest way, it's very different than if, say, Sharon Osbourne produced it. I really respect what she did for Ozzy: she basically saved his life, and at the very least, his career. But I think in some ways, Jack can see him in a more honest way.

I wonder if the Black Sabbath guys are involved in this.